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Free Study Guide for Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson-BookNotes

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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES


CHAPTER 17: Narrative Continued by the Doctor - The Jolly Boatís Last Trip


Summary

The last trip, the doctor says, was the most difficult trip as the boat was overloaded with five grown men and all of the supplies. The strong water currents running westward make it much more difficult for them. Sailing with the ebb, on the other hand, would have taken them to the shore but closer to the area where Silver and his men had landed.

The doctor is losing hope. Two fresh oarsmen-the Captain and Redruth are steering the boat. The men keep on suggesting ideas when suddenly the Captain remembers something. They had completely forgotten about the other guns and the cannon on the Hispaniola, which was now under the control of Silverís men. Looking back, they see the men uncovering the tarpaulin on the other small boat. Israel Hands is in command of the Hispaniola. He used to be Flintís gunner. The lives of Captain and his men are in danger.

In an attempt to save themselves the Captain orders Trelawney to shoot Hands on the Hispaniola. He misses him, but hits one of the other sailors. Hearing the shot, the pirates on shore man their small boats and rush towards them. The Squire doesnít give up, but their boat does. The boat goes down and all of them are drenched in three feet of water. No one is hurt, but three guns out of five were rendered useless.


They wade towards the beach, the voices of the pirates nearing them all the time. The thought of Hunter and Joyce handling the mutineers bothers them as they are held in the Stockade. More than half of their goods and provisions are left behind in the bottom of the sunken boat.


Notes

In this chapter the doctor narrates the trials and tribulations of making it to the stockade amidst the enemy attack. He says that the troubles are doubled as the boat is overloaded and moves with the water currents taking them away from their course toward the stockade.

The doctor canít handle the pressure and is depressed. Captain Smollet and Redruth are steering the boat. When the Captain suddenly remembers the guns they had left behind on the ship and the cannon, they are concerned that the men will use these guns against them. He responds to the situation by asking the Squire to take aim and gun down Israel Hands who is now in command of the Hispaniola and standing on the deck. The Squire misses him with his shot but hits another of the mutineers.

Worrying about Hunter and Joyce who were already in the stockade, they jump from sunken boat and rush to the land in between gunshots from the ship.


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